Domaine Stéphane Aladame, Montagny 1er Cru 'Découverte' 2018
Stéphane Aladame is one of the stars of the younger generation of French producers. Whereas many young winemakers inherit their estate, Stéphane began from scratch in 1992, at the age of 18. He completed his studies in Beaune before renting vineyards in Montagny, in the Côte Chalonnaise. The wines of Montagny can easily rival those from the more famous Côte de Beaune, which lies immediately to the north, and often at considerably better prices. Stéphane is also a bit of an anomaly in Montagny, as the village is dominated by cooperatives (at around 75%), with only 18 independent producers. Stéphane now cultivates eight hectares, with seven hectares situated in Montagny Premier Cru.
Montagny is an undulating area, giving the vineyards a myriad of exposures. Grapes for this wine were grown mainly in the Les Maroques vineyard. Soils here are chalky clay and the vines are aged under 20 years old. The vineyards are situated 320 metres above sea level and fertilisers are not used.
2018 began with a warm spring and budburst in early April. The entire vintage continued ahead of schedule, with flowering in mid -June followed by a rapid fruit set. Ripening continued at a fast pace with warm summer temperatures. Fortunately hydric stress was avoided due to the water reserves from winter and spring rainfall. Harvest took place in ideal conditions in September.
The fruit was hand-picked, pressed and the must was settled before fermentation took place in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. The must underwent full malolactic fermentation.The wine was then matured for 10 months in stainless-steel after which a light filtration took place before bottling.
This wine has an expressive bouquet of ripe stone fruits, lemon verbena with mineral undertones and bright acidity. It has a vibrant, intense core of citrus and rich apricot fruit alongside a firm mineral zip that continues through the long finish.